Beats with lightning cable
Back in November, a report claimed that Apple planned to scrap the 3.5mm stereo headphone port from the upcoming iPhone 7 - a startling and surely revolutionary change to a portable device if we've ever heard one.
If that sounded like bad news, well... we've got more. According to Chinese site Anzhuo (via 9to5Google), further supply chain sources affirm that Apple intends to leave the port off of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, instead opting to include wireless Bluetooth earbuds with the handsets - or push people towards Lightning-connected headphones.
Why make such a controversial change? Well, the 3.5mm audio port is dated technology, and it's something that Apple can't shrink without impacting compatibility with the many millions of existing headphones and earbuds around the planet. By removing the port, Apple could potentially slim down the iPhone 7 design even further, or at least have more flexibility with the internal configuration of the phone.
iPhone 6s and iPhone 6
Of course, the downside is that everybody already has wired headphones, and not everyone wants to use Apple's own wireless earbuds - or buy alternate ones. Or purchase a Lightning port adapter, for that matter, which is something we heard about from the previous report. But as we saw with last year's MacBook and its single USB Type-C port, Apple is willing to make big, potentially off-putting changes when it benefits the design of the product and embraces a new standard.
We can see a lot of potential customers having a problem with this decision, but if any company has the weight to effect change via a meaningful design choice, it's Apple. We'll have to wait another eight months or so to find out whether Apple is willing to take that risk, or whether this is just another bit of rumour mill gossip that goes absolutely nowhere.